The Princess Bride is one of the best 80s films to watch on a lousy day. Whether it’s raining outside or the viewer is confined to bed by the flu, this delightful fantasy manages to lift the spirits of young and old, healthy and sick. What begins with a premise of a grandfather, played by Peter Falk, reading a story to his sick-in-bed grandson, played by Fred Savage, transforms into a classic tale of epic proportions.
Directed by Rob Reiner and starring an ensemble cast of talented actors, The Princess Bride follows the tale of Buttercup, a beautiful peasant woman in love with Westley, a poor stable boy she has known since childhood. When their love can’t seem to get any cheesier, Westley is kidnapped by pirates, plunging Buttercup into a state of despair.
The real action begins when Buttercup is kidnapped. The evil Prince Humperdinck hires a dim-witted kidnapper named Vizzini to do the job, along with his two henchmen, the legendary swordsman Inigo Montoya and Fezzik, a giant.
En route to the prince’s kingdom, an infamous pirate named Dread Pirate Roberts ambushes them, defeating Fezzik the giant and Inigo Montoya and poisoning Vizzini. As the dark pirate accosts the fair peasant girl, a struggle ensues, during which Buttercup realizes that the Dread Pirate Roberts is in fact her beloved Westley.
Of course, the road to “happily ever after” is blocked by many other obstacles, including enormous rats, a six-fingered swordsman, the Pit of Despair and a decisive showdown with the evil Prince Humperdinck.
This delightful film is filled with memorable cameos (watch for Billy Crystal as Miracle Max the troll), exciting swordfights, witty dialogue (“Life is pain, your Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.”) and a timeless love story. The Princess Bride is sure to inspire audiences of all ages, from “Once upon a time,” to “…and they lived happily ever after.”
Marta Rusek can be reached at email@example.com